February 12, 2012
The American Latvian Association (ALA) is once again offering its yearly bilingual tour (“Hello, Latvia/Sveika, Dzimtene”) to Latvia for adults and families. The dates are from July 24 through Aug. 7.
The “Hello, Latvia/Sveika, Dzimtene!” trips are particularly well-suited to adults of Latvian background who want to introduce their English-speaking spouses or children to Latvia, as well as for those whose Latvian may be a bit rusty and who appreciate the full-time bilingual guide and trip information.
The trip provides a comprehensive overview of Latvia, both geographically and culturally. The itinerary includes in-depth time in Rīga as well as a tour of Latvia’s historical four provinces. This year’s itinerary places special emphasis on Vidzeme, with a possible side trip to Estonia and the city of Tartu—important in the Latvian Awakening in the 19th century.
The cost of the trip is USD 3,300, and includes round-trip air transportation from Newark, N.J., to Latvia. (Flying on one’s own and meeting the group in Rīga will reduce the trip fees by USD 1,200.) The fee also includes double occupancy accommodations (single rooms can be reserved for a USD 500 supplement), meals, admission to museums and events included in the program.
This year’s tentative itinerary also includes a visit to the Art Nouveau Museum in Rīga, the Latvian National Archives, the Sigulda Opera Festival, the Bauska Castle ruins, the restored Rundāle Castle, a tour of Cēsis, the writer Kārlis Skalbe’s memorial home and museum, the Aglona Basilica and a visit to a Latgallian potter’s studio and an ethnographic homestead where participants can sample country home cooking. Visits to the ports of Liepāja and Ventspils and beach time on the Baltic Sea, as well as a visit to the legendary resort town of Jūrmala, are just a sampling of the places and experiences participants can anticipate.
The maximum number of participants is 20 (minimum 10). To participate, sign up by Feb. 29. Trip participants will be signed up in the order their applications are received. Trip applications can be downloaded from the ALA website, www.alausa.org (click on “Visit Latvia”). For further information, call Anita Juberts at +1 (301) 340-8719 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.